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Farm-Fresh balance.pngYMMVTransmit blue.pngRadarWikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotes • (Emoticon happy.pngFunnyHeart.pngHeartwarmingSilk award star gold 3.pngAwesome) • Refridgerator.pngFridgeGroup.pngCharactersScript edit.pngFanfic RecsSkull0.pngNightmare FuelRsz 1rsz 2rsz 1shout-out icon.pngShout OutMagnifier.pngPlotGota icono.pngTear JerkerBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersHelp.pngTriviaWMGFilmRoll-small.pngRecapRainbow.pngHo YayPhoto link.pngImage LinksNyan-Cat-Original.pngMemesHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconicLibrary science symbol .svg SourceSetting
File:Rsz -eternal-sonata-ps3- 14.jpg

It's a Japanese RPG. Cel-shaded, manga-style graphics. Heroes who prefer swords, The Empire trying to create an army of super-soldiers with Psycho Serum. A young girl, shunned by society, who just wants to help people. A young, handsome thief who wants to make the world a better place, so that no one has to steal to survive. A prince, a princess, and La Résistance round out the cast. A Bishonen with a BFS, and two girls with impossible hair-colors and Stripperiffic outfits. Battle between light and darkness, yadda yadda yadda...

Sound straightforward, even a bit cliché? Perhaps. If you're looking for a traditional JRPG with a battle system that will bring an immediate sense of nostalgia, this is your game. If you're looking for groundbreaking special effects and an original story, you might be less satisfied.

Oh, I forgot to mention that one of the main characters is Frédéric François Chopin, famous pianist and composer, known as 'The Poet of the Piano', a legend in his own time. He died in 1849, at the age of 39, in his sister's apartment in Paris... and the game takes the form of his dying dreams, as the major events of his life are spun into a fantastic tale, and as the life slowly seeps from him, the border between dream and reality grow thinner...

The battle system reflects recent influences in RPG design. Your character is given a set interval of time with which to move or attack, and the special moves available to your character depend on whether they're standing in light or shadow. Some environments have moving clouds and the like, making it a challenge to keep in a location where your heals can go off. It is possible to block, counter, and build up a chain called the Harmony Gauge in order to boost the power of your special attacks.

The straightforward RPG gameplay is accompanied by both original and arranged pieces by the virtuoso composer, and the action is occasionally interspersed with sequences that relates the events to the very real drama of the historic Chopin. An encounter with an unbeatable swordsman in a rain-soaked jungle reflects Chopin's near-fatal bout of tuberculosis on Mallorca during the rainy season. Escaping from the castle dungeons with the aid of La Résistance parallels Chopin leaving his native Poland mere days before the November Uprising throws the country into chaos, and so forth...

Eternal Sonata has been praised for its strictly traditional story and gameplay, and criticized for the same. The game was first released for the Xbox 360 in 2007, then for the PlayStation 3 (with added features and a somewhat altered plot) in 2008.

There is also a manga adaptation of the game. However, it is only 10 chapters long and changes many aspects of the story drastically.

Character sheet under construction. Please feel free to contribute.

Tropes used in Eternal Sonata include:

  • Absolute Cleavage:
    • Viola.
    • Captain Dolce counts too.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: and quite pretty, as sewers go.
  • Acrofatic: Tuba is surprisingly quick for such a big guy.
  • Action Girl: Viola, Falsetto, Claves to an extent.
  • Alan Smithee: Listed as a voice actor under "Additional Voices" in the english version. Apparently this game was polarizing even for the VA's.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: A weird example. While the Japanese and US Xbox 360 covers are both pretty cutesy, the original US PS3 boxart is almost misleading.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The PlayStation 3 version added alternate outfits for Polka, Beat and Allegretto, the three characters that you can navigate in the field at various points. While most of these were easy to find, at least one of them was in an obscure area of a dungeon that was added for the PlayStation 3 version.
  • An Ice Person: Falsetto, so very much.
  • Anti-Hero: Allegretto, despite being The Protagonist, isn't exactly what you'd call a perfectly polished hero, frequently stealing bread to give it to orphans living in the sewers, something that eventually comes back to haunt him, on top of being pretty rude and cynical in general.
  • Anti-Villain: Legato, who's only really a villain because of his loyalty to Waltz.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Polka frequently says "I'm sorry!" after hitting a monster with her parasol. Yes, her parasol. Additionally, Frederic sometimes states "You've done nothing wrong." after defeating an enemy.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: The party size climbs to ten in the 360 version, and a rather large twelve in the PlayStation 3 version, possibly a record for any RPG not named Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Cross, Radiata Stories, or Suikoden, but you'll only ever have three characters in the active battling party.
  • The Artifact: The whole Chopin storyline is almost entirely forgotten after the first chapter or two.
  • Artistic Age: If you didn't know any better, you'd think Chopin was in his twenties.
    • It is jarring to walk up to girls the same height as Polka (who is 14) who talk about cooking for their husbands.
  • Ax Crazy: Fugue.
    • Count Waltz also.
  • Back From the Dead: Claves. And depending on your interpretation, Chopin.
  • Background Magic Field: The battles take place on open plains that all the characters / creatures can move around in, with different magical attacks (and for the creatures, sometimes different physical forms) available when attacking from areas of light or shade.
  • Badass Adorable: Polka, Beat, March, and Salsa.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Falsetto, though she can equip brass knuckles and similar weapons. Of course, since equipping different weapons doesn't change the character's appearance, this isn't really shown.
  • Battle in the Rain: All encounters in the Agogo Forest while it's raining, naturally, but particularly the battle with Fugue.
  • Because I Said So: A mother's stated reason when a boy asks why he shouldn't go near Polka, or anyone who glows (from using magic) like she did.
  • Becoming the Mask: Claves. And possibly Princess Serenade, who seems to genuinely have fallen in love with her fianceé Prince Crescendo.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: One of the main characters is Frédéric François Chopin. Who knew he could kick so much ass with a conductor's baton?
  • Betty and Veronica: Falsetto and Claves are both after Jazz, although which is the Betty and which the Veronica is less obvious than in many cases. Later, Viola falls for him as well, making it a sort of Unwanted Harem except that Jazz is totally oblivious.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Just because they're wearing frilly dresses doesn't mean you should underestimate them. Polka is sweet and kind, but is prone to shouting "Stay out of my way!" as she casts her area effect Nuke Spells. March is even sweeter and kinder, and can at higher levels effortlessly cut through enemies like a hot knife through butter.
    • It's advisable not to get on Beat's bad side either. Tuba learned that the hard way.
  • BFS: As wielded by Jazz. It's bigger than Cloud's!
  • Big Good: Jazz and Crescendo seem to share this role, with Jazz being the leader of Andantino and Crescendo being the prince of Baroque. Jazz is the more proactive of the two, however.
  • Bittersweet Ending/Downer Ending: Chopin finally chooses to believe that his dreamworld is real, which breaks the Stable Time Loop it's trapped in and allows Polka and the rest to live in a new future. However, this also is apparently what causes him to 'die' in our reality, leaving behind the people in the real world who still care about him. The start of the final credits where Chopin's spirit leaves his body, walks over to his piano, and accompanies the ending theme can be seen a symbol of how he lives on in the real world through his music. Whether the ending is the former or the latter is dependent on the individual and how "real" they see the dream world in comparison to Chopin's conclusion.
  • Black and White Morality: While there are exceptions (see Anti-Hero and Anti-Villain above), the party ae unambiguously the good guys, while the antagonists are unambiguously evil.
  • Boobs of Steel: Viola and Captain Dolce are the top competitors in this area.
  • Bonus Boss: Deep Lurker, Unison Rondo, and Annihilator in the Mysterious Unison. Unison Rondo's incredibly high stats and speed would be perfect That One Boss material if she wasn't optional.
    • The Church of Ezi's boss in the PlayStation 3 version also.
    • Not to mention the two (three on Encore) optional rematches with Captain Dolce.
  • Bonus Dungeon: Mysterious Unison. And The Church of Ezi in the PlayStation 3 version.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The protagonists speak directly to the player during the first half of the ending credits in the X-Box 360 version. This is replaced by a soliloquy by Chopin in the first ending of the PS3 version. The Encore mode ending simply has the protagonists repeating quotes without addressing the player.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Every single playable character, as well as all of the human bosses, especially when they use charged up Echoes. Ranges from quick, to-the-point shouts, to near-filibusters that quite possibly required the voice actor to take a breath during the read.

 Chopin: Triumphant victory! The hoofbeats of the brutal horde approach! Legion Fulminante!

  • Career Killers: Rondo
  • Charged Attack: Echoes and Harmony Chains
  • Cheerful Child: Beat, who tends to stay upbeat throughout events that would probably traumatize many eight-year-olds.
    • March also qualifies for this.
  • Chick Magnet: Not Allegretto, who only attracts one girl, but Jazz. He attracts Claves, Falsetto, and Viola, and is dating the former.
  • Chirping Crickets: Done using the blowing wind variant. The party is trying to decide whether or not to use a secret passage, so they turn to Allegretto to make the decision. He decides to go for it, commenting "You know what they say - 'If you don't go into the lion's den, you can't count you chickens.'" There is a sound of wind blowing from the tunnel and after a pause, Viola comments "That doesn't make any sense."
  • Comes Great Responsibility: In Lament Mirror in the PlayStation 3 Updated Rerelease, Salsa is alone with Frederic and hankering for some food. She asks Frederic why he doesn't use his magic powers to magic up a steak for them. He replies that "Magic is not a tool of convenience," and continues that even if such a thing were possible, their first thought should be of the children starving in the cities. Salsa is not persuaded by this logical argument, and breaks down in a tantrum, causing Frederic to Face Palm.
  • Cool Big Sis: Viola to a certain degree.
  • Crapsack World: Allegretto believes that any world where good people needlessly suffer, including his own and the player's, is a lousy place to live.
  • Curtains Match the Window: a number of characters, most notably Claves.
  • Cute Bruiser: Salsa and March. Perhaps too cute.
  • Dead Little Sister: Chopin had one in real life who was the inspiration for Polka.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Given that the game is set in his Dying Dream, you'd expect Frederic to be the main character, when in reality he's the Tritagonist at best. In fact, Frederic learns time and time again that he has nowhere near as much control over the world as he thinks he does, and there are hints that it's not actually a dream at all.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Falsetto appropriately falls under this.
    • Frederic is a more subtle male example; he's initially indifferent towards the rest of the party out of a belief that they are just figments of his imagination, but by chapter 4, he admits that he has grown to care for them and is even wondering if they are okay (the party was split in two at the end of chapter 2).
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu??: On Encore mode on the PlayStation 3 version, you can face The Great EZI as an optional boss, who is implied to be some sort of deity.
  • Different As Night and Day: The twins, Salsa and March, are not only opposite in personality but use solar-and lunar-themed attacks, respectively. Additionally, when you find a weapon for one that does greater damage to light creatures, there's a complimentary one nearby that does greater damage to dark creatures.
  • Dub Name Change: From Japanese to English, Jitterbug's name is changed to Jazz, but the other names are kept the change (although in Japanese they call him Chopin, while in English they call him Frederick). However, if you play the game using the French on-screen text, a number of other characters change names. For your side, Beat becomes Piccolo, Viola is Harpe, Falsetto is Mazurka. (A mazurka is a type of Polish folk dance and Chopin composed several of them, one of which can be listened to on a piano in the tavern in Forte.) Serenade's poodle puppy changes from Minuet to Menuet. Oh, and Frederic and Serenade both gain accent marks over the "e"s in their names. For the baddies, Fugue becomes Staccato, Guitar is Banjo, Rondo is Rumba, and Count Waltz, of course, becomes Comte Valse. Incidentally, Jazz is still Jazz.
    • A number of the attack names change, e.g. Orange Cure and Earth Growth to Orange Glow and Earth Heal for Polka. For Princess Serenade they decided to change her "Word:" skills to "Verbum:".
  • Dying Dream: The premise of the story.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Informs much of the character design, but especially Falsetto.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Princess Serenade is from Forte, but they're apparently ruled by a Count, who in traditional kingdoms is much lower in rank than a prince or princess. Then again, it's possible that she was given the title of princess when she got engaged to Crescendo. In one scene, Waltz refers to her verbatim as "a princess of Forte." Apparently they just wanted a princess in the game. Their Nobility Is Different From Our Nobility?
  • Exposition Break: The game is a bit lengthy on the cutscenes in general, but special mention goes to the slow-paced Chopin history lessons.
  • Face Palm: Done by Chopin in the PS3 version when listening to Salsa whine about being trapped in Lament
  • Fake Difficulty: Start the Bonus Dungeon and you will unlock Party Level 6 which allows you to chain up to 6 special attacks. The catch? Every time you use one, the button's mapping changes randomly, meaning that you should un-memorize the controller's mapping. It's even worse on the first playthrough since you cannot revert to party level 5.
    • Not as bad as it sounds, actually. The random remapping only happens whenever one uses a skill, not at every button press like a number of descriptions set it up to be. In fact, even then, it only changes with skill usage when executing Harmony Chains - if one doesn't use those, then it doesn't change at all. Furthermore, the item button always remains the same, so it's only the three other command buttons that change. It also resets to the default after each battle. As long as one remains calm (and remembers to use that map at the bottom of the screen that shows what button does what), they can reasonably keep up with a changing button layout. Plus, the benefits outweigh the detriments (carrying Echoes over between battles and an increase in Harmony Chain size from 3 to 6 at the cost of one less second of action time and Damn You, Muscle Memory! seems like a good deal to me), even if one occasionally makes a mistake. It may take a bit of practice, but one can get used to it.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: half the cast.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Count Waltz, all the way.
  • Fetch Quest: Retrieving specific water which just happens to be behind a graveyard to feed a dying plant for a child living with La Résistance.
  • Final Speech: Claves. It takes so long that you might end up dying before she does.
  • Fiery Redhead: Salsa, to the extreme.
  • First Girl Wins: If you defeat the extra Mysterious Union dungeon on the PlayStation 3 version, you can resurrect Claves making Jazz happy, and Falsetto less than thrilled.
  • Five-Bad Band: Waltz and his associates make up one:
  • Five-Man Band: The main characters form a classic one:
    • The Hero: Allegretto, the main character of the game.
    • The Lancer: Beat, Allegretto's sidekick who acts as a Foil to him.
    • The Big Girl: Viola, a fantastic archer who can deal huge amounts of damage, and can also defend herself with her fists
    • The Smart Guy: Frédéric, the only one in the group with a formal education and is found of thinking out loud about current events and hidden motivations.
    • The Chick: Polka, the moral compass who gets along with everyone.
  • Friend to All Children: Allegretto, to a certain degree.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Chopin dies; at least in our world.
    • Well, that all depends on if you defeat him in the final battle, or if he defeats you.
  • Fragile Speedster: Falsetto, March, Salsa, and Claves at least once she's revived.
    • Especially true for Salsa. At high levels, it is not at all unusual for her to take two turns in a row.
  • Gainax Ending: But then, did you really expect the fever dream of a dying man to make sense?
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: It's said that nobody is buying floral powder from Tenuto anymore because of the cheapness of the mineral powder. Yet just about every store in the game that sells items to your party carries healing powers that are described as powders made from flowers from Tenuto.
  • Get On With It Already: The game has a lethargic pace that may turn off some players, and plenty of Contemplate Our Navels with long panning shots of Scenery Porn when something exciting could be happening.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: The attack names are in English in the Japanese version, and some of Chopin's are in French, Italian, and Polish. Additionally, for the PlayStation 3 Updated Rerelease with Serenade as a playable character, two of hers are in Latin and one is in French.
  • Green Aesop: A little bit in the game, with light pollution and humans being "masters of destruction" (Thank you, Falsetto), and a lot more in the credits, with the characters breaking the fourth wall and talking to the player about such issues as "Can you think of any other things that are helpful at the time but dangerous in the long run?" and "Minor inconveniences with huge long-term effects."
  • Groundhog Day Loop: The ending - clarified in the PlayStation 3 version - explains that the events of the game have repeated over and over again. This is why the game starts with the last scene and how Polka got hold of Allegretto's charm before he gave it to her. Chopin's presence in the most recent cycle, however, breaks the loop and happy endings occur.
  • Guide Dang It: For anyone without an ear for music, and even some that do have an ear for music, the third test in Xylophone tower. But that's only if you're not persistent. Fail it a few times and it relaxes the difficulty, making it so that the notes light up, as with the previous two trials.
    • Unless you realize that the notes that don't light up are exactly the same ones that did during the previous trial- so, if you wrote them out, you only need to actually memorize the last four ones, which do get shown.
    • There's a grandmother lady in the hotel in Baroque in Chapter 4 whom you must speak with to hear a poem in order to obtain a Score Piece later in the game. It's the only thing in the game that can be Lost Forever if you don't remember to talk to her. (Well, that, and the reward you get for using the Score Piece later on.) Oh, and this only applies in Encore Mode - in your first playthrough, you cannot return to most locations after visiting them the first time, so if you miss something, it's most likely gone until your second playthrough.
  • Hartman Hips: Most females to a certain degree, but Claves and Falsetto really stand out here.
  • Have a Nice Death: When you lose to certain bosses.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: If you lose against Tuba it's Game Over. If you win against Tuba, he orders a couple of mooks to throw you in jail.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: Polka and Allegrettos' early-game battle tutorials. "The animals that live in the forest around here aren't really very strong, so I should be able to defeat them without too much trouble. But, just to be safe, I'll go over the basics of how to fight again."
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Polka attempts one of these at the end of the game.
  • Hey, You: When the party reaches the summit of Mt. Rock, Allegretto addresses Crescendo and Serenade (a prince and princess respectively) with a hearty "Hey, guys!"
  • Historical Beauty Update: Chopin was a gorgeous hunk in Real Life, but he's outright Bishonen in this game.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Against Fugue the first time Frederick and Polka meet him.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: A bit of an odd case in that the game allows you carry up to 99 of any item at all that can be purchased or dropped by monsters, including weapons and armor. This is despite the fact that every character has their own unique type of weapon that only they can equip and most armor can only be equipped by a few different characters, or in some cases, only one.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Fugue tells Count Waltz that he couldn't find any glowing agogos in Agogo Forest, Waltz orders him straight back there and warns him "I won't listen to another report of failure." Fugue leaves and Legato comes in to inform Waltz about the good progress they're making with their mining operations at Mt. Rock, only for Waltz to tell him "There's no need to report when things are going well."
  • Ill Girl: Polka, although she fights surprisingly well considering she has a terminal disease. Subverted later in the magic researcher's claim that not all people who can use magic necessarily have the disease; Polka might be fine. Actually, it's the other way around: the magic researcher says that not everyone who has the disease can use magic, and not vice versa. That's how he started thinking that perhaps Astras could have something to do with magical powers, which leads to the party going to Agogo Forest in order to ask the Agogo Queen Mother for help: by making the Agogos "absorb" part of the light that emanates from Polka's Astra they hope to wake her up after she faints in Baroque.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Whilst many of the weapons are somewhat improbable, combining as they do design elements of musical instruments with more traditional weapons, Beat's combination clarinet/gun/nadziak (a spiked hammer that was used in the Polish rebellion), and Chopin himself hitting enemies with a conductor's baton take the cake.
    • It's a very big baton.
      • Made out of fine wood.
  • In Medias Res: Subverted as the player is lead to believe they will see the first scene in the game again later, as it appears to be set in the future. However, due to the game's Groundhog Day Loop this is actually before the game chronologically.
    • Played straight with the Baroque sequence. You begin this portion of the game with Beat and Polka in an outside courtyard area of Baroque Castle and then go into a Flash Back sequence involving how they got rescued by a Baroque ship and then fought off a ship full of pirates (at which point the items you collect on the ship suddenly appear in your inventory).
  • Infinity+1 Sword: And an Infinity Plus One Umbrella.
    • Alegretto's final weapon, Silver Star, is a sword that critically hits 100% of the time.
  • Innocent Flower Girl: Polka.
  • Instant Messenger Pigeon: Claves sends a dove to Baroque to deliver the message to Prince Crescendo that Princess Serenade is a Forte spy. Not only does the dove make it safely, but it survives the bitter cold to land neatly upon the prince's window.
  • Instrument of Murder: A clarinet/gun/mallet, a BFS with trombone pipes, a fencing rapier shaped like a conductor's baton...
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: An early quest will force you to find some food for a bunch of goats blocking your path on a bridge. Said bridge is about four feet long and is built over little more than a trickling stream. Does your party think of going around and wading through ankle-deep water? Of course not.
  • Involuntary Group Split: Tuba destroys the Cabasa Bridge the party is on at the end of Chapter Two, splitting them up. You play the following two chapters as one of the groups - Allegretto, Viola and the Andantino members in Chapter 3 and then Polka, Beat, Salsa and Frederic in Chapter 4.
  • Irrelevant Sidequest: There's a fairly extensive trading sidequest early in the game that ultimately results in nothing more than a key to a temple that can easily be obtained by simpler means. The only upshot is you get to keep a minor accessory that you would otherwise be forced to give up. What's worse, you ultimately end up not needing the key in question, but the plot demands that you obtain it anyway. Also, the Score Piece sidequest is entirely unconnected to the plot of the game.
  • Jerkass: Every major antagonist except Legato, but especially Waltz.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Allegretto is quite rude more often than not, particularly in regards to his teasing of Beat and mockery of Frederic, and isn't above abandoning the others to clean up a mess he got them in to begin with. Despite this, he does care about the party, especially Polka, and hates a world where good people have to suffer. And when you consider the people he's fighting against, he could be a lot worse.
  • Joke Item: Most of the EZI items are pretty much useless, or worse, do harm to your characters. If you're plyaing the X Box 360 version, then it's still worth collecting them all in order to gain an Achievement, if you like gaining Achievements for X Box Live. If you have the PlayStation 3 version, they are pretty much just something to collect for fun, as this version doesn't connect to the Play Station Network.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: Allegretto and Beat steal from a bakery to feed homeless people in the sewers. The taxes in the town are so high that, without Allegretto and Beat playing Robin Hood, they would likely starve to death.
  • Kill'Em All: Chopin attempts to do this at the game's end. If you believe that the dreamworld wasn't real after all, (despite the many hints that this is not so) this is arguably what happens when Chopin finally dies.
  • Laughing Mad: One of Count Waltz's lines when he does a charged-up Apocalypse Fall.
  • Large Ham: A lot of the voice actors chew the scenery quite a bit, but the crown is taken by Liam O'Brien, who is clearly having a hell of a time playing Count Waltz.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: Polka, though she's older than she looks.
  • Love Freak: All Polka wants to do help other people, even if the same people that she heals treat her like a leper because they think her illness is contagious.
  • The Lifestream: The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • Messianic Archetype: Polka.
  • Mighty Glacier: Jazz has the highest attack stats and hit points, but he's also one of the slowest characters.
  • The Messiah: It's never quite clear how or why, but it seems that Polka is destined to heal the world. The PlayStation 3 version makes it clearer; Polka's astra shines brighter than anyone else's in the world.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Viola.
  • Multiple Endings: If you lose to Chopin in the final battle, he wakes up in the real world. The PlayStation 3 version of the game also bears some changes on the normal ending. Additionally, the PlayStation 3 version has at least three different sequences that can be shown during the first set of closing credits. What's odd is that there doesn't seem to any specific trigger that determines which ending you get. The endings are as follows:
  • Frederic appears on a black background and addresses a soliloquy directly to his late sister, Emilia.
  • Photos of various scenes from throughout the game are shown.
  • The characters appear and recite lines from the game. However, they don't directly address the player like in the X Box 360 version and some of the lines they use are ones that are exclusive to the PlayStation 3 version.
  • New Game+: Beating the game allows to play in Encore Mode. All enemies are about 1.5x stronger, but you are allowed to change your Party Level at any time (in a normal playthrough, the Party Level increases throughout the game and cannot be changed manually.) You also keep all Score Pieces you found in your first playthrough, and have access to all of the music you unlocked from the menu. A number of new sidequests open up as well.
  • Nice Hat: Chopin wears a stylish top hat, complete with plucked feathers in the brim.
    • Salsa wears a fancy pirate's hat which is her pride and joy.
  • Nothing Personal: Rondo after she fatally attacks Claves.

 Rondo: You fool. The information you provided us was very valuable. But I was ordered to kill you if your identity was revealed. Don't take it personally.

  • Older Than They Look: Look at Chopin's picture and then realize that while he looks like he's in his early 20's, he's actually 39.
  • One Steve Limit: There are two characters that are called Bass - one of them is a member of Andantino and the other is a flunky of the pirate captain Dolce.
  • Odd Name Out: Baroque City, while still musically relevant, stands out among Forte, (sus)Tenuto, Ritardando, and Andantino as a style of music, rather than a musical direction.
    • The Hanon Hills also count, as the locations are generally named after musical terms of some sort, but these are actually a tribute a person-- Charlie Louis Hanon, a famous French piano pedagogue, who is known for a series of training exercises for pianists.
  • One-Winged Angel: The side effect of Mineral Powder, with a dose of Brainwashed and Crazy.
  • Palette Swap: Heinously used to turn a roster of about thirty types of monsters into seventy. As well, used to turn early game bosses into mini bosses in the Final Dungeon. In the PlayStation 3 Updated Rerelease, March actually Lampshades this when after the party defeats the White Jewel in the Double Reed Tower, she notes that its appearance was similar to a monster in the Agogo Forest (the Baby Dragon fought by Allegretto and Beat), so examined it and found that the texture of its hide was different, and a lot more durable.
    • Technically this applies to March and Salsa also, but it 's forgivable considering they're twins.
  • Pirate Girl: The pirate ship Dolce is named after its female captain, who you encounter in chapter 4.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Count Waltz, considering he is only 16.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: PlayStation 3 Waltz delivers a nice one in the final battle against him in the Double Reed Tower, with shots specially directed against Crescendo and Polka. Alegretto tries pulling off a Shut UP, Hannibal but Waltz just shrugs it off.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Salsa {red} and March {blue}. Even their hair are the respective colors! March's Blue Oni tendencies are even more pronounced in the PlayStation 3 Updated Rerelease - there are several references to her being passionate about research that aren't present in the Xbox 360 version.
  • Reverse Psychology: Used by Salsa and March, with a brief addition by Viola, to goad Count Waltz into fighting the party in the PlayStation 3 Updated Rerelease. In the Xbox 360 version, he just decides to fight the party for "entertainment" once Polka surrenders to him. In the rerelease, howver, he much more sensibly orders his dragons to take out the party. Since trying to take on a group of dragons would be a very bad idea, Salsa and March goad him by telling him that the party is "under the protection of the glowing agogos," with Viola noting that they've already defeated all of his other "little henchmen." This is successful in convincing Count Waltz to decide "If those bumbling idiots couldn't manage it, then why don't we see what I can do!"
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Crescendo and Serenade, especially in the PlayStation 3 version (in which they are playable characters).
  • Save Scumming: Poison status is extremely useful against bosses that are affected by it and can be inflicted by using an item. Not only does it cause them to lose HP at the beginning of each turn, but it also causes them to stagger, lessening the amount of time they have to attack your party. Bosses that are affected by it, however, are also generally resistant to it, meaning there's a fair chance that the item won't inflict it. Fortunately, however, there is always a save before a boss, meaning that you can just reset until you get the result you want.
  • Scenery Porn: even the sewers are pretty.
  • Screw Destiny: Allegretto, but only in the PlayStation 3 Updated Rerelease:

Allegretto: (regarding Polka) Sacrifice her life?! There's no way I'd let her do something like that!
Solfege: I don't wish to lose her, either. But I don't think we can fight fate.
Allegretto: (makes a slashing motion with his arm to indicate he doesn't hold with that) Who cares about fate anyway?!

  • Sibling Yin-Yang: March and Salsa.
  • Soap Opera Disease: Polka has a bad case of this.
  • The Sociopath: Waltz, definitely. Upon learning about one of his subordinates fell to his death, he explicitly states he feels more sorry for the bridge. Not to mention he turns many of his subjects into mindless Super Soldiers to conquer the world.
  • So Long and Thanks For All the Gear: There are numerous instances where you switch between different groups of party members. Whenever you do, the party members that are left behind keep whatever equipment they have for the time being and you don't get it back until they rejoin. Not a problem with weapons, since each character has their own unique type, but definitely potentially troublesome with accessories and armor. Particularly egregious if you choose to Crescendo and Serenade for the final boss battle of Lament Mirror in the PlayStation 3 version, since you don't get them back for two chapters. And don't even think about equipping anything good to Claves, who dies at the end of Chapter 3, though she can rejoin, and eventually fully resurrected, if you visit Mysterious Unison in Chapter 7, at which point you can finally get back anything that was equipped.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Part of the second trading sidequest involves finding the ingredients for a magic candy that allows one to talk to animals, which you ultimately give to an item merchant who wants to be able to talk to his horse. (Absurd! No one can talk to a horse, of course!) Also, there's a woman in Baroque you can help out whose husband has disappeared into the Sharp Mountains. Viola is somehow able to understand a dog whose barking "tells" her that the husband is in danger and needs help.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Rondo.
  • Stable Time Loop: Also a bit of a Mind Screw. The game gradually reveals that everyone has made this journey before. At the end, Polka casts herself off a cliff, only to emerge as a little girl falling from the sky into her mother's arms, where she repeats the past seven or so years of her life all over again. Only Chopin's death breaks the cycle. This also explains the extraordinarily high volume of fortunes on the tree near the end of the game in a place that would be implausible for average people to venture; they're all Polka's fortunes.
  • Stealth Pun: Sop and Rano, two girls in Tenuto Village whose combined names make "soprano."
  • The Stinger: The story of the snail and the caterpillar at the end of the game. Make sure to wait about a minute once you receive the screen that says "Fin," or you will miss it.
  • Stripperiffic: Viola's outfit definitely qualifies.
  • Stuck Items: you can't unequip the Weapons or Armor slot, only swap.
  • Subtext: Chopin and Polka.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: When Allegretto decides to ditch the party who's supposed take care of the "ghosts" underneath the Mandolin Church, Allegretto decides to jet to go fetch Polka. Viola suggests that perhaps the reason he's leaving is because he's scared of ghosts, and he happily seizes on that excuse, stating that he never told anyone before, but he's super-scared of ghosts.
  • Tagalong Kid: Beat, March, and Salsa.
  • Taking You with Me: Tuba tries this when you defeat him a second time at Cabasa Bridge at the end of Chapter Two. It doesn't work, see Involuntary Group Split above.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: For any character uttering one of their soliloquys prior to launching a charged-up Special Attack. The Action Gauge stops cold which is a good thing, since a couple of these soliloquys take longer for them to say than a full turn of the Action Gauge.
  • Team Pet: Arco, Viola's squirrel... thing...
  • That's an Order: Count Waltz to Legato in the PlayStation 3 Updated Rerelease after Legato is initially hestitant about drinking the enhanced mineral powder, though he phrases it as "This is not a request."
  • That Wasn't a Request: Count Waltz to your party, but only in the PlayStation 3 Updated Rerelease. He demands that the party surrender Polka and in the original Xbox 360 version, Polka just surrenders herself right away. In the PlayStation 3 version, however, the party has realized that it's not really Polka that Waltz is after, but rather the glowing agogos, and Polka initally refuses Count Waltz's "request."

Polka: There's no way I'll go with you. Besides, I already know what it is I have to do. I know what to do to really help everyone.
Count Waltz: You people don't quite understand the situation. Do you honestly think you have any say in the matter? How unfortunate. And just as I was going to respond to Prince Crescendo's little bid for peaceful negotiations. You will hand the girl over to me immediately. Because I'm afraid that if you don't, you're dead.

  • Theme Naming: Appropriately enough, everything has a musical theme to it.
  • These Hands Have Killed: In the ending of the PlayStation 3 version, Frederic stares at his hands in this manner after he wakes up following Polka's sacrifice. Of course, technically he didn't, but he blames himself for not being able to do anything to stop what happened.
  • Translation Correction: In the Japanese version, Chopin mispronounced the "grâce" (GRAHS) in his attack "Coup de Grâce" as the English word grace. The English version had the correct pronunciation.
  • Troperiffic
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: In the first chapter as well as after the bridge collapses the main characters will be seperated and be played apart in different segments.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Falsetto, to Jazz.
  • Updated Rerelease: The PlayStation 3 version adds several quests, Crescendo and Serenade as playable characters, and expands upon a lot of plot points of the original.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Count Waltz made the zombie cure the only one the general public could afford and ruined the Agogo Forest while making them, sure, but he did make a miracle cure.

  "Terrible? Why, whatever do you mean? It was entirely for the sake of my subjects that I developed the most effective medicine possible."

  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Double Reed Tower, is beautiful and ethereal and you will know that it is the final dungeon before you even step foot in it, unfortunately it is also repetitive as one most climb up two seperate, yet identical towers and then back down both as well.
  • Video Game Historical Revisionism: Averted. The developers tried to be as historically accurate as possible and worked with the Chopin Society in Warsaw in order to make sure they were.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Claves, who's introduced midway through chapter 2 and is killed at the end of chapter 3, though her death can be undone by completing the Bonus Dungeon.
    • Out of the Five-Bad Band, we definitely knew Tuba the least. While most of the antagonists survive several chapters before being killed off, Tuba is killed in the same chapter he's introduced.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Salsa getting the pirate hat, declaring it to be the "ultimate treasure". The fanfare and background make it a Crowning Moment of Funny.
  • What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic: Though the events of the game are supposed to be representative of Chopin's life experiences, there are some events that just do not make sense in this context, yet are given the air of being symbolic of something. Most noticeably, the final scene of the game is a tête-a-tête between a snail and a caterpillar.
    • Some of that is possibly reflecting what Chopin himself would have thought about. Particularly, conflict and good people needlessly suffering. His little sister died of tuberculosis at the age of fourteen and quite a lot of conflict occured in Poland during Chopin's lifetime.
  • White Magician Girl: Princess Serenade seems like she's going to be this: she's a pretty princess with a heart-shaped staff, she's a love interest to another character, and she can heal. It turns out, though, that she deals massive amounts of damage and is The Mole.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Polka, Beat to an extent.
  • The Wise Prince: Prince Crescendo.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Averted even outside of battle. In one particular cutscene, Jazz slaps Falsetto. You don't hate him for it. Maybe it helps that he then hugs her.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Silver for Allegretto and Falsetto, pinkish for Claves and Salsa, lavender for March. The rest of the party and most NPCs have more "ordinary" hair colours. Then again, it is a dream world, after all.